Apr 6

Seen here [ Hitchens Debate Video ]

Quick note about this synopsis. It may seem like a biased review, and I suppose it is to a certain extent, but my intention was to do the following: Pick out any argument that was particularly interesting (whether particularly good or bad or whatever) to me. In doing this it just so happened that most of the apologists’ arguments were not new or even framed in a new light, and therefore uninteresting. If anyone finds something I skipped to be particularly interesting, feel free to reply.

16:00 – Seven of the faultiest logical arguments you will hear this week

30:15 – Moderator tries to argue that Hitchens’ arguments/philosophies are only applicable to a few people. However, he comes out and says christianity is for the weak and un-intelligent. Even if you assume his argument is correct, still seems like he loses.

37:00 — Hitchens makes a good point (although sidestepping the original question to a degree) about the idea of a compassionate god. And also about the amorality of suffering in this life being ok because it is promised to be rectified in another.

40:00ish — Argument between “believing in god means there will be justice for wrongs in this life” vs. “believing in no god means humanity is responsible for bringing justice, not sitting idly by”.

52:20ish — Hitchens asks a good question about morality. Apologists bring up responses by rewording the question. He says name an action I couldn’t take. They list actions he wouldn’t take.

1:00:00 — Hitchens develops a cold. Then makes a decent point that christianity says “I created you sick and evil, now get right or else go to hell”

1:05:00 — “I’m a Christian and I have a monopoly on morality”. Then an audience member makes a good question. Then the moderator (really are you moderating at this point?) answers for the apologists.

1:08:00 — Hitchens goes off on a tangent for no reason, everyone is confused and silent, answer the question plz.

1:12:00-1:20:00ish — Snapdragon! One of the apologists admits that things are caused by evolution. Then after a long discussion they say that without god music, love, poetry, etc. doesn’t have any meaning. What?

1:33:00ish — apologist says the bible is a practical book, not a speculative book and that we should use it as a practical guide to every day life. Then to prove his point he murdered Hitchens for being a heretic and allowed the panel to rape his daughters.

1:37:00 — Hitchens makes a humorous derisive comment about believers in general. That is what I think is entertaining about him, he’ll say whatever in front of whomever.

1:39:00 — Crazy old guy in the audience demands the microphone based on discrimination, raises argument based on scientific knowledge, then admits he doesn’t understand science.  Also, crazy.

1:51:00ish — Hitchens closing. Meh. His very last thought was amusing.

1:56:00 — Last apologist’s closing statement. Lists 10 arguments that he says Hitchens didn’t refute. I agree, he didn’t directly point out the logical fallacies with each of those arguments. However, it is a good list of arguments for christianity that are easily refuted in a 15 minute logical analysis, or 2 minute search of the internet. He then claims atheism is and has been proven false. Cool. “You didn’t prove me wrong to my satisfaction in this one particular sitting therefore you are wrong.” At least one of the apologists stepped up (unfoundedly) to be directly confrontational at the end.

Dec 28

The title of this is a little misleading. I’m not ranting about Christmas (or at least don’t plan to as of now, who knows where the post will lead), I am just ranting and it happens to be Christmas time.

First, I just read an article in the NY Times that talks about text messages and their high prices. It basically says the providers are price gouging and should be ashamed of themselves/sued. Seriously? “Hi, I provide a service that cost a shit-ton to build the infrastructure for, including hardware and spectrum rights. I just figured out a stupid add on that teenagers love that costs me literally nothing, but I can charge 20 cents for.” “Umm, excuse me sir, that is wrong, if it is cheap for you and you charge me for it, that is unfair.” If you are addicted enough to text messaging that you will pay 20 cents per message, or 5 bucks for 200 or 15 bucks for unlimited or whatever it is, good for AT&T for convincing you to pay for something that email/twitter/facebook/IM does for free if you have a data plan. By the way, I pay 5 bucks a month for 200 text messages (of which I use 9), so AT&T got me too. Next time someone figures out a way to provide goods or services at a profit and you complain about it, slap yourself for being retarded. It is called capitalism and it works (usually).

Second item: Capitalism doesn’t work. Oh my god, I totally contradicted myself there, quick someone point it out. Actually, no one will point it out because only 4 people read this, and they are all too lazy to comment. Plus I just pointed it out. <Inner Rant>Why do I blog? Seriously 4 people read this and I’m sure I’ll bitch about all of these things to each one of them in due time anyway. It must be my delusions of grandeur. <End Inner Rant> So here is the thing about capitalism, she’s a fickle bitch. Economics 101 talks about supply and demand and self correction, and that is all well and good but that is only part of the story. The more important part, and the part that doesn’t “work” is speculation. What do I mean by speculation? No I don’t think you are too dumb to know the definition, I think I am, so I’m telling you what I think the definition is. When I say speculation I am really talking about any leveraging of money based on future expectations. Stocks, Options, Hedges, Futures, Loans, etc. Anytime your economy is based on future expectations, you will have large swings in prosperity/recession. The only way to keep moderate swings is to continually innovate (i.e. produce the same goods/services for less) which is improbable, and have no corruption (yeah right, this is the human race we are talking about), or to have regulations. The free market will correct itself, but only after rising so high that it comes crashing down (see today’s economy). I could have framed this argument way better, and it probably would have actually made more sense, but that would have taken too long. Just believe me, I made a 5 on my economics AP test.

Next, Christmas. Yep, worked it in, the title fits after all. I got in to a twiscussion (i just made that up and it means “discussion over twitter”, the least effective way to converse in depth) with one of my friends over an article saying scientists are pooping their panties over “Ice Age 3 Dinosaurs in Action” (I forget the actual title). They say “excuse me, it is scientifically inaccurate to show Dinosaurs coming AFTER mammoths in the earth’s history, and I won’t stand for it”. The person writing the article is witty enough to point out that said scientists didn’t complain about the scientific inaccuracy that the mammoth and the dinosaurs can SPEAK IN ENGLISH TO EACH OTHER. That is all well and good, but let’s take it one step further. Fiction doesn’t have to be scientifically correct. That is why it is called Fiction. There is a difference between show #1 — fiction that is portraying reality, like “hi, I’m a made up doctor character in the ER, here are some doctor words that should be correct” and show #2 — complete fiction like “hi, I’m a cartoon rabbit that speaks to a retarded hunter, so clearly I am not based in reality, I can shoot him in the face with a shotgun and it will only burn his hat and then I can sprint away leaving dust bubbles”. If you are a doctor and you watch show #1, you can be mad if the character says “I need 500g of pvc bilaterally injected into this smaschmorta stat” because that means they didn’t take the time to research that shit. However, unless you are an illustrated long-eared animal that leaves dust bubbles when you run, you need to STFU about realism while watching show #2.

Sorry, now really about Christmas. Christmas is the second kind of fiction in my opinion. It is a story not based in reality, so it doesn’t have to strictly be realistic. Before you get indignant and say “Jesus is real, you are sorely mistaken and will probably go to hell”, 2 things.

  1. This still definitely applies to the Santa Claus story part of Christmas, so think of it in that manner.
  2. I also believe it applies to the ‘virgin-born, resurrected, flies with angels’ Jesus story as well. If you don’t, just focus on point #1.

Because it is a fictional story, I see no problem in telling it to kids for a fun time. Poops and giggles if you will. But as soon as the kid is old enough/smart enough to question the story and say “that doesn’t seem real”, don’t lie to him. Encourage him to question seemingly made up things, because while fiction is fun, lying and telling them fiction is reality is unfair. Children look up to adults for direction, especially authority figures like parents, it is our nature as humans, and they take their word as truth. So make sure your word actually is the truth and encourage further learning. If you are concerned he’ll ruin the story for other kids, tell him not to, he’s the kid, you are the parent. And if he does, oh well, what’s the harm in making another kid smarter.

Next, parenthetical thoughts. I overuse those mofo’s. Almost every sentence I write has a parenthetical aside written in to it (man this is annoying) and man that is annoying to read. I’m sorry that I do it, I just have so many brilliant thoughts in my stream of writing that I have to try and cram them all in. I’ll try to do it with more literariness in the future.

Finally, damn I forgot my last one. I had a really good one that I was saving for the last, but I completely blanked on it now. Oh well, consider yourself unlucky. Here is a quick and topical substitute. Memory. My memory sucks balls. The other day I forgot my zip code and couldn’t pump gas with my credit card because it required it. Gay. Then, a while back, I forgot how old I was, I was off by 2 years. Yeah, 2 years. Apparently the last time my brain decided to remember my age was 2 years ago. Also, I will say I’m going to do something right as I’m starting to do it, then forget. Or someone will tell me to do something and I will forget to do it within 10 seconds. Example: Wife:”Hey, don’t forget to turn off the light as you come to bed.” Me<walking towards the bedroom from the kitchen, about 15 feet from light switch>: “Ok, will do.” Wife<10 seconds later>: “Damn it, you are in bed and the light is on.” Me<sucking at life>: “Man I suck at life.” So if anyone has any ideas on how I can turn back on my brain memory function, please leave a comment.

Oct 6

Lets be honest, age isn’t the best barometer to determine if a person should be trusted with alcohol.  I know 10 year olds who would be more responsible with drinking than a lot of 40 year olds.  So why in the US is 21 the magic number where we decide people can drink?  We do a lot of stuff by age here, so I guess we are just used to it.

A better way, would be to allow people access to alcohol until they prove they can’t handle it.  If they can’t handle it, they don’t get it anymore, no matter what age.  Obviously there would be a starting age, and I think it should be younger than 21.  How many people can honestly raise their hand to say “I had my first drink of alcohol on or after my 21st birthday?”  Put your hands down highschoolers, you are lying because your parents are in the room.

Here is how it works, when you go in to a store/bar/etc. to purchase alcohol, they swipe your driver’s license.  It tells them if you are allowed to buy alcohol.  If you have a DUI/DWI you can’t.  Maybe not forever, but at least for a time, you can’t.  If you ever committed a felony, like raped a child, you can’t, because you should be in jail and I hate you.  If you are under a certain age, lets say 18, you can’t.

But what about XYZ way of getting around it?  You can get around being under 21 and drinking in all the same ways, so it isn’t perfect, but it is better than our current system.  Instead of waiting until a drunk driver has gotten 5 DWIs, installed a breathalyzer in his car, endangered countless people, etc., he just isn’t allowed to buy alcohol for 1 year after his first DWI.  Instead of looking at some 16 year old with an expired driver’s license from their older brother, you swipe it and it shows you that it’s expired and they can’t buy alcohol.

In order to be allowed by TABC to serve alcohol, you have to install a machine that swipes DLs and connects to a network with this information.  If you get caught serving people who fail the check, or not checking at all, you get a fine, just like before with underaged drinkers.  Yes this means law enforcement has to be a little more cooperative in sharing data from local to national level, but that needs to happen anyway.

Like I said, it isn’t perfect, but I think it is better than the current system.

Sep 20
The Worst Ever
icon1 meezy | icon2 facts, profane, random | icon4 09 20th, 2008| icon31 Comment »
  1. PT Cruiser:

    The only things worse than the guy who designed this car are the people who signed off on its production and the 9 people who bought one.
  2. Baseball:

    This is by far the most boring sport (golf has Tiger Woods so they’re ok) and to top that off, they stretch the game length out by having short bursts of activity (10 seconds) surrounded by guys standing around for 5 minutes. The shortest baseball game on record was 7 hours and 10 minutes, look it up. In order to play you can be overweight, and only succeed at your job of getting a hit 20% of the time. If you fail a little less than 2/3rds of the time (even after taking performance enhancing drugs) you are considered a god.
  3. Dick Cheney:

    This one probably could have just been ‘The Bush Administration’, but this guy is a bit of a stand out. Somehow while he was heading up the committee to find a VP for GWB, he failed to think it would be a conflict of interest if the guy they chose for VP was a CEO for a company that would get $10 billion in government contracts thanks to the war he helped start by spreading false information. Oh, by the way, his committee decided to choose himself. While his Halliburton illegal-ness (I’ll quit as CEO for $20 million and then give you $10 billion in no-bid contracts where you can fail and get even more contracts) is somewhat (like barely) hearsay, his refusal to obey the law isn’t. He refused to release documents required by congress while fighting to extend the power of the executive branch by challenging laws put in place by congress to oversee the president (bye bye checks and balances, hello dictatorship). He also supports forms of torture considered illegal in U.S. laws and international treaties. Even though he likes to start wars so much, he doesn’t like to fight in them, just make money off of them. He dodged the Vietnam draft 5 times saying “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” I bet this guy did too. I’ve also heard he likes to eat babies while shooting his friends in the face.
  4. Spandex:

    Not a whole lot needs to be said here. Maybe I’m being too harsh on the fabric, maybe its more an issue with people’s decision making skills. Either way, its like locking up your guns to protect you child from shooting himself. If that guy didn’t have access to spandex, he would have chosen sweat pants. Now I’m not trying to be rude to fat people, I am also too fat to wear spandex. So I don’t wear it. I wear t-shirts.

  5. Standard Units:
  6. This is the division of countries for/against Metric before and after World War II.

    This is now:

    At least we are still measuring things against sizes of a human body part. Can someone please tell me what the length of 1 Rod is? One time the US wanted to be a leader in the scientific world, so we shot the Mars Orbiter 4x too fast into the atmosphere of Mars because we use ‘US Customary Units’. Awesome.

  7. Catholicism:

    Catholicism has a long and sordid history of supporting the Nazi’s, molesting young children, covering up the molesting young children, moving to another parish and molesting more young children, making up ‘edicts from god’ that are politically and personally motivated, oppressing people, brainwashing children and adults, resisting critical thinking, resisting scientific progress, swindling people out of their money, and controlling people through fear. Now those attributes aren’t all unique to Catholicism, but I just chose it among other religions/denominations because it stands out for its achievements in these areas.

So these things are in no particular order, and I actually had about 2-3 more that I wanted to include, but this post is long enough already.  Not long like too much reading, long like it took me longer than 5 minutes to make.  Also, I just previewed it in my current theme and it looks like a blind 2 year old cut things from a magazine and pasted them on my webpage, so this thing might be unreadable until I get a new theme.

Aug 18

Completely ignoring my last post, which said I will make more technical posts, here is an opinionated post about the world.

There are several instances of our society putting pressure on schools/parents/<insert authority figure> to coddle people.  Give everyone a participation award.  No one gets first place because that singles out the losers.  Don’t make Fatty McFat Fat take responsibility for eating McDonalds everyday, it’s McD’s fault.  I sneezed, I better take 15 prescription drugs that are advertised to me.  My kid doesn’t like homework, better give him some medication.

These are all instances of fail on a national level.  But this isn’t even the worst of it.  It is one thing to ignore the fact that some people are losers, but even worse, now we award it.

First example, congratulating people who fuck up really badly but it could have been a little worse.  A SWAT team raids the wrong house and the home owner, rightfully so, thinks his family is being robbed.  He freaks out (probably shits his pj’s) and shoots at them, giving minor injuries to 3 officers (shrapnel hit their protective gear).  Then the SWAT team gets honored for performing bravely under fire.  Let’s break this down.  SWAT team makes huge effin mistake and raids an innocent person’s home.  This is breaking the law last time I checked.  Otherwise we should just let the police raid any home they want, and then if they don’t find anything “oh my bad, I meant to raid a drug dealer’s house.  As you were little 9 y.o. girl who will have nightmares for the rest of her life”.  Next, super luckily, no one was killed on either side.  At this point the right thing to do is to say “We owe this family some sort of restitution, the people involved with the mixup need to be punished, and we need to change certain protocols to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”  Instead they said “sorry we F’d your house and life, but our guys did a great job of not killing you, so we will give them awards”.  This is like congratulating someone who has already shit their pants for not shitting them the second time.

Next example, congratulating people on a miraculous acheivement when they totally fuck up, but then make a turn around.  This one is slightly different from the previous one because these people are celebrated more than someone who doesn’t fuck up and is just a badass from the beginning.  These stories usually have jesus, a warm cup of cocoa and crying.  Josh Hamilton was a good baseball player.  Then he F’d over his life by doing drugs.  Then through the graciousness of jesus (who apparently hated Josh for a while when he made him do drugs and ruin his life) he was able to come back and be an above average baseball player.  Therefore JOSH HAMILTON ROCKS!!!!!!  I gotta be honest, I didn’t completely read this story because it has my 3 least favorite things in the world: baseball, rewarding shittiness, and attributing only good things to religion.  But let’s break down what I skimmed over.  Everyone thought J.H. would be the shit so he was drafted high.  He did ok, but didn’t amount to much because he did drugs all the time (OMG he has 26 tattoos).  Bottom line, as much shit as this guy got in to, he should be in jail.  Illegal drugs, drunk driving, drug suspensions from MLB.  Instead, he is now back to playing decent baseball for a decent (tettering on 500) team.  He did hit 28 homeruns in one round of the home run derby, only to lose (but he got congrationlations on losing, see last example).  If we compare his life and achievements to say (to stay in the baseball realm) Cal Ripken Jr., then we shouldn’t be singing J.H.’s praises, we should be calling him a douchebag that makes more money than he is worth.  Giving extra rewards to someone for fucking up their life but eeking out a turn around is like paying your worst employee a bonus the one time he shows up to work not late.

Last example, rewarding someone for not winning.  Funny enough J.H. falls in this category too with his home run derby P.E.  But a better example is our current president.  He was rewarded for almost winning the election by becoming president so that he could build up arguably the worst administration in the history of the United States and dump tax money to large affiliated corporations like it was going out of style.  I only say arguably because some people would argue, but its true.  Then he almost won the war in Iraq and he was rewarded with a Mission Accomplished party, and yet we seem to have accomplished nothing besides dumping a lot of money, life, and international credibility down the drain.  Then he almost won at working 40 hours a week, and was rewarded by taking more vacation than any other president ever.  So congratulation GWB, you are awesome at not winning.

I don’t really have a closing to this.  Only a minor call to action.  The next time you see/read/hear someone being rewarded for overall shittiness, stand up, look them in the eye and say “I’ve got your reward right here!” and then punch them in the face and/or genitalia.

Aug 18
Bait and Switch
icon1 meezy | icon2 random | icon4 08 18th, 2008| icon32 Comments »

I use bait and switch in the loosest possible terms.  What I really mean is ‘domain name change/theme change/lost my old posts — I changed my blog’.  I think I only baited 1 or 2 people in to reading my blog.  And I’m switching it to a new domain because I like this one better and the other one I’m not going to pay for anymore.

I’m a pretty infrequent poster, but this time I’m going to try and focus more on technical posts.  Or at least try to post them more frequently.  We will see how that goes.

Sep 14

It has only been 3 short days since the Twin Towers attacks and I can already predict a lot of naysayers, especially people at the JREF will try and convince people that psychics are fake because no one predicted the events of 9/11.  I’m seeing a name, it is something like Steve or Stephen.  I also see a computer, it looks like a PackardBell.  I’m thinking Steve Bell or Stephen Packard.  What, no one named Steve Bell blogs on the JREF site? OK, yep it is definitely Stephen Packard.

Well here is what I have to say to you Stephen Packard — You shut your mouth, you have no idea how hard it is to be a psychic.  First I had to pay for my certification.  And then wait 5 whole business days.  Plus the “specialties” selection was just a radio button, so it took me at least 20 minutes deciding which was my most powerful specialty.  Was it voodoo, or psychic detective work, or spell-casting?  I’m so good at all of them.  Luckily I foresaw that problem with the application and I spent my 20 minutes deciding well before I even reached the page.

Then, I had to enhance my abilities so that I could accurately predict things.  Maybe not everyone is as dedicated as I am.  Maybe they didn’t remember to “start and end [their] sessions with a small prayer”.  Maybe that is why they didn’t predict the 9/11 attacks.

Or maybe they were just afraid of being made fun of.  Like always.  It is almost impossible to make a prediction without letting a few ‘pew pew pew‘ noises slip out.  Do you know how embarrassing it would have been to say “Na nananananana – A terrorist attack is coming on 9/11 pew pew pew pew” on national TV?  No one would have believed us anyway.

So in summation.  FU JREF and FU Stephen Packard for claiming my powers don’t exist.  I bet you will feel really foolish writing this article 8 years from now and then seeing that I predicted it all the way back here in 2001.

*No tricks were used in the making of this blog post.  I promise, and you can trust me, I’m a psychic.